Should I persuade my elderly father to leave his dog at home when he goes out shopping on frosty mornings? And what about walks in the park? I'm worried about him having an accident, but he has a very independent nature.
Trying to walk on pavements and across roads where the snow has turned to ice is hazardous even for the young and able-bodied. It becomes even more dangerous when walking with a dog on a lead, particularly if you are carrying shopping and are elderly.

Do try to persuade your father to leave his dog at home therefore, when going to the shops in bad weather. Not only could he end up badly injured, but his dog could also run off and disappear, or might become involved in a traffic accident.

It should be safer if he takes his dog out to the park where the snow will not have been compacted to the same extent as on the pavements. Even so, always ask him to tell you or another member of the family where he will be going and when he expects to be back. Always encourage your father to take a mobile phone, when going out for a walk with his dog, so he can contact you without delay, should it prove necessary.

Accidents can strike any time, particularly in woodland where a root or branch hidden by snow across the path could cause him to trip up. With no other means of contact, it would then be much harder for him to obtain help under these circumstances, leaving him exposed to the risk of developing hypothermia.